May 1, 2019
Technicians successfully conducted structural and performance tests on the Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project. According to officials, the 60 MW scheme located 95 km north of Kathmandu in Rasuwa and Nuwakot districts is all set to start producing 30 MW within two weeks.
“Officials ran wet and no-load tests on the equipment in the powerhouse on Monday,” said Kulman Ghising, managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority. While carrying out the tests, water is conveyed from the tunnel to the turbines in the powerhouse through the penstock pipes to test whether or not the generators and control panels are functioning as per the design without evacuating electricity.
The state-owned power utility had planned to begin commercial operation of the hydel plant on May 1 by switching on the first unit. “Testing the headworks, equipment and other structures was time consuming, delaying our plans to start generating power,” said Ghising. “We have fully revived a project that had been stymied by multiple obstructions and are now ready to commission it.”
The project plans to drain the tunnel to check for spillage and refill it within a week, and perform the remaining tasks simultaneously. “The project will evacuate power from the first unit by May 15,” said Ghising.
The construction of a 220 kV Trishuli-Kathmandu double-circuit line to carry electricity from the plant to Matatirtha sub-station in Kathmandu has also been completed. The 45-km transmission line will start evacuating 30 MW in May and another 30 MW in June.
Apart from evacuating the power produced by the Upper Trishuli 3A project, the Nepal Electricity Authority plans to use the facility at Matatirtha to transmit electricity produced by other hydropower schemes in the Trishuli corridor.
The Nepal Electricity Authority built the Upper Trishuli 3A project with a concessional loan of $114.7 million from the Export-Import Bank of China. The foundation stone was laid in November 2011 with the completion deadline set for May 2014.
The project sank into uncertainty after the contractor, China Gezhouba Group Company, halted work citing heavy damage to the access road and dam during the 2015 earthquake. Work resumed after a two-year hiatus, and the project was expected to come into operation by mid-January. After Upper Trishuli 3A—the largest among the projects launching this year—roars into life, 71 MW will be added to the national grid.
The electricity authority has commissioned six small and medium hydropower projects, including the 22 MW Bagmati Khola Small Hydropower Project and one solar plant built by independent power producers, in the last nine months.
Officials plan to launch another nine small and medium projects this fiscal year ending mid-July and add 160 MW to the grid, bringing the number of independent power producer-owned projects in operation to 82 from 75 last year, accounting for a combined installed capacity of 554 MW.
In the next fiscal, the electricity authority plans to issue commercial operation dates to 43 hydropower projects including Upper Tamakoshi (456 MW), Rasuwagadhi (111 MW) and Lower Solu (82 MW).
Source: The Kathmandu Post